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Kansas City Royals unlikely to trade Whit Merrifield at deadline

Whit Merrifield

The Kansas City Royals are not expected to trade utility man Whit Merrifield before the MLB trade deadline on July 31, according to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com.

Morosi notes that Merrifield, who has started games at five different positions this season, has garnered interest from multiple contending teams such as the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies, but the Royals aren’t making him available.

In addition to being incredibly versatile defensively, Merrifield currently owns a slash line of .304/.358/.492 with 12 home runs, 28 doubles, a league-leading nine triples, and 52 RBI over 477 plate appearances this season, making the All-Star team as a result.

The 30-year-old was originally selected by Kansas City in the 10th round of the 2010 MLB Draft.

He went on to make his big-league debut in 2016, playing in 81 games and slashing .283/.323/.392 with a couple of long balls and 29 RBI across 332 plate appearances.

Then, the following year, Merrifield broke out, registering a slash line of .288/.324/.460 with 19 dingers, 32 doubles, six triples and 78 RBI through 587 trips to the plate, adding a league-best 34 stolen bases to boot.

Merrifield followed that up by slashing .304/.367/.438 with 12 homers, 43 doubles and 60 RBI over 707 plate appearances in 2018, swiping a league-leading 45 bases on top of that.

Obviously, a player of Merrifield’s offensive prowess, base-running ability and defensive versatility would be a hot commodity if the Royals were to decide to trade him between now and the deadline, but Kansas City’s asking price would surely be astronomical if that occurred.

Even though the Royals are just 39-65 and obviously will not be making the playoffs, they don’t necessarily have to move Merrifield, who is under team control through 2023.